Seven’s night fairly easily. But the biggest news was the clean sweep by Seven News in the 6 to 7pm slot, especially from 6 to 6.30pm where Seven again won Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane (which had been Nine’s East Coast Fortress, but increasingly no longer). Seven also won Adelaide and Perth as usual, the latter by the huge margin of 188,000 to 41,000 for Nine News. This is close to the most crushing win Seven has had in the 6pm timeslot for years in the metros: a massive 237,000 winning margin. Of course, Nine will probably win back ground tonight. But as they say in finance and betting, ‘the trend is your friend’. In this case the trend is to Seven at 6pm.

Apart from that it was the first of what will be a typical summer night. The first seven programs in the five metro markets were news and current affairs — all fresh content. The repeats and weak third their programs clogged up the rest of the night. The returning Back Roads on the ABC at 8pm stood out and was the most watched non-news program in the metros with 715,000 and second most nationally with 1.102 million (after Home and Away with 1.187 million).

The most watched regional programs were: Seven News with 626,000; Home and Away with 523,000; Seven News/Today Tonight with 519,000′ then the 5.30pm part of The Chase Australia with 415,000 and Back Roads fifth with 387,000.

And Nine is hiring Rove McManus for 2017. What will Karl Stefanovic think there on the Today Show, a program he has been trying to leave for years and find a time slot that isn’t as hard as on life as those 3.30 am starts? Rove’s radio career back in Australia has been less than amazing, like his US TV experience. Could he be in line to host a clone of Ten’s The Project, which his company, Roving Enterprises, produces for Ten. Roving Enterprises will be involved in any Nine program deal, so no Project clone. Or a late night talk show?

Australians love winners (or a winner) and abhor losing, so after two tests where the crowds stayed away and viewers averted their gaze a winning position in the second pink ball test in Adelaide saw them return like the swallows of Capistrano or the Koels of Sydney – all making a lot of noise (such as the boorish heckling of Matthew Renshaw in the last session as he inched his score forward).

The third session averaged 1.827 million on Nine nationally (with that lurch over 2 million in the closing minutes of the third session, according to Nine’s adjusted figures). That was 1.290 million in the metros and 537,000 in the regions. The second session averaged 1.517 million nationally (1.030 million in the metros and 487,000 in the regionals, while the first session averaged 974,000 nationally (658,000 in the metros and 295,000 in the regions).

So more than 2 million people watched Channel Nine towards the end of the test on Sunday night as Australia eventually won by seven wickets, while the groovers and boomers hipped their way through Crowded House on ABC (937,000 nationally, 624,000 in the metros and 327,000 in the regions. — Click here to read Glenn Dyer’s full TV Ratings. 

Peter Fray

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